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What is the difference between Clever And Cunning?

Asked by R. Jones, Last updated: Sep 11, 2020

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1 Answer

H. Martin

H. Martin

H. Martin
H. Martin, Content Writer, Charlotte

Answered Aug 13, 2019

Clever and Cunning are two English words that have almost the same meaning. Most times, you see people using both clever and cunning interchangeably; this is because you might not be able to differentiate between the two words properly. Clever is used as an adjective to describe someone that is nimble with hands or body, or someone that is skillful, adept, resourceful and intelligent. Cunning, on the other hand, is an adjective used to describe someone that is sly, crafty, and skillful in surreptitious behavior.

The common thing about the two words is that both are used to describe someone that is crafty, skillful, and intelligent. However, the major or slight difference between the two words is that cleverly carries a lot of positive connotations, while cunning has more negative connotations. Although both words sound positive, a clever person won't use his craftiness to the destruction of others, although he will use his cleverness for his good, while a cunning person might adopt a surreptitious way to achieve what he wants.

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